NEW ORLEANS – In an attempt to stop the selling of packaged sandwiches, fruit cups and snack cups that tested positive for a major pathogen, a complaint for permanent injunction was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on June 22 by three agencies of the U.S. government.
The Food and Drug Division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Consumer Protection Branch of the U.S. Department . of Justice were joined by the assistant U.S. attorney in New Orleans in prosecuting this alleged infraction of the U.S. Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Defendants named are Freshy Foods of Elmwood, Louisiana, and owners Floyd D. James and Ida M. James. The injunction seeks to prevent Freshy Foods from continuing to offer for sale in Louisiana and other states packaged foods that are processed and packaged in a less than sanitary environment. In particular, inspectors found that packaged foods from Freshy Foods tested positive for listeria, a major pathogen,
The Food & Drug Administration states that listeria can be serious, even fatal, for vulnerable groups such as newborns and those with impaired immune systems. The most serious forms of listeriosis can result in meningitis and septicemia.
FDA said that defendants’ facility was most recently inspected July 17-21, 2017.
According to the FDA, “This inspection established that the RTE food that defendants prepare, manufacture, process, pack, label, hold, and/or distribute is adulterated in that it has been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have been contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health.”
Specifically, the FDA said a resident strain of L. mono was found in the facility.
The agencies requested the court order the defendants and all persons active in their food processing and servicing business to cease all activities associated or required in the processing, packing, and delivery of such products until defendants bring their operations into compliance with applicable regulations to FDA’s satisfaction.
The plaintiffs also asked the “FDA be authorized to inspect defendants’ place[s] of business and all records relating to the receiving, preparing, manufacturing, processing, packing, labeling, holding, and/or distributing food to ensure continuing compliance with the terms of the injunction, the costs of such inspection to be borne by defendants at the rates prevailing at the time the inspections are accomplished.”
The petition also asks that costs incurred in pursuing this action, including the costs of the investigation, be paid by the defendants.